What is an EB-4 Visa?


EB-4 visas are fourth-preference employment-based visas available to certain special classes of workers. You must have an employer to take advantage of this type of visa, but whether you petition for yourself or your employer petitions for you depends on what kind of subcategory of eligibility you fall into.

The petitioner files Form I-360 to begin the process. It is important to submit relevant evidence of all the claims made in the form, such as proof of identity and nationality. 

Who qualifies for EB-4?

The qualification list is quite narrow.

  • Religious workers
  • Special immigrant juveniles
  • Broadcasters
  • Retired officers and employees of G-4 international organizations
  • Retired officers and employees of NATO-6 civilian employees
  • Employees of the US government
  • Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone government employees
  • Physicians 
  • Non-citizens who supplied information about criminal or terrorist organizations
  • Members of the US armed forces

EB-4 visas are also available to the family members of some of these immigrant types, such as the retired officers and employees of G-4, NATO-6, or employees of the US government.

How long does it take to get an EB-4 visa?

Processing times vary but average out at around eight months. It’s important to realize that USCIS is facing a backlog, and you may have to wait longer. You may also have to wait if the numerical limits for EB-4 visas have been filled for your country already. 

You’ll be informed when a visa is available and when you can file Form I-485 to receive a green card.

What is the difference between R-1 and EB-4?

The EB-4 visa grants permanent residency. R-1 is a temporary working visa that may be extended for up to five years. They serve very different purposes. There is no path to a green card from an R-1 visa.

R-1 visas are appropriate for ministers or other religious employees who are on temporary assignment in the United States. 

Not sure how long you’ll be in the United States or which visa is right for you? Ask your immigration attorney!

Get Help Today

We help employers bring over EB-4 visa holders, and we help individuals who seek to obtain employment-based visas.

Every immigration matter is a complex legal case, and it helps to have good guidance from day one. This avoids costly mistakes, including mistakes that could end your dream of living and working in the United States.

Contact Hykel Law to get started today.

See also:

How Does an Employment-Based Green Card Work?

What Are the Four Types of Immigration?

How Does the EB-5 Visa Work?

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